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Milton J. Madison - An American Refugee Now Living in China, Where Liberty is Ascending

Federalism, Free Markets and the Liberty To Let One's Mind Wander. I Am Very Worried About the Fate of Liberty in the USA, Where Government is Taking people's Lives ____________________________________________________________________________________________ "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Tolerance in the face of tyranny is no virtue." -Barry Goldwater-

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Islam Needs Reformists, Not 'Moderates' - WSJ.com

400 years ago there was a reformation in Christianity. This was necessary as religion in Europe was being used as club and political tool to neuter and eliminate opponents and led to coarseness and in the worse case, death, in dealings with those that were not of the same beliefs. People were being cleansed from societies based purely on simplistic and minor differences in religious beliefs. 17th century philosopher Locke, wrote on religious tolerance, not respect or acceptance, but simple tolerance for others in their beliefs. His 3 principles can be summarized as follows in a way that I think about them:
1. Interference in religious beliefs, since it is personal and inward looking human aspect is not a legitimate state power
2. State religious interference can have a lasting and destructive unintended consequences on future generations (It may seen like a great idea today but I see it as creating violent future generations that use violence to keep others in line without even knowing why)
3. State interference in religion across different states creates narrow single state religions where they are different from each other despite the belief systems being nominally similar and this will create a brittle internal society that eventually will have problems with the other similar but different states.
This is exactly what has happened in Islam. It has created brittle societies where the populace no longer thinks for themselves, is not embracing their religion as an inward looking relationship with God and has increased intolerance not only for other religions but also for their own as people feel compelled to force or conform to the state dogma onto themselves or others in their group no matter how costly. We have seen the rise of violent factions in these groups as these people rebel against states and/or less radical people within their own groups and do so since they think that they have nothing to lose by being intolerant and radical.

So, is there such a thing as a moderate Muslim? I argue that there is not. Moderates by their mere existence actually provide cover to the radicals. People can claim 'we do not believe what they believe' but in actuality, they do believe in the same exact dogma that these people are using to justify their violence. Current Islam, even those considered moderate, have become totally intolerant of others and is based on medieval social structure where survival depended upon a simplistic singular vision that supported this dogma. Ask a typical 'moderate' Muslim their opinion on Israel and you will quickly get an impression that they are not moderate at all. These kinds of attitudes and beliefs may have had a place in the harsh world of the Middle East 1000 years ago but it has no place in today's world where technology is able to feed the people and modern medicine can keep them alive. However, despite these changes, violent and brittle societal practices have continued till today....
It is time for those who love liberal democracy to join hands with Islam's reformists. Here is a clue to who's who: Moderate Muslims denounce violence committed in the name of Islam but insist that religion has nothing to do with it; reformist Muslims, by contrast, not only deplore Islamist violence but admit that our religion is used to incite it.
Islam needs to recognize that they are violent and seek to eliminate it from their lives. Until they reach this point, they will continue to be an uncivilized people.

Islam Needs Reformists, Not 'Moderates' - WSJ.com

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